8 Surprising Behaviors That May Hurt a Young Person’s Credit Score

By Susan Cataldo on 11/19/2012

Age is not a determining factor in your credit score, but the age of your credit file (“Length of Credit History” in FICO Speak) is responsible for 15% of the calculation.  That means that certain behaviors will have a greater or lesser impact on your score depending on how old, or new, your credit history is.  A credit inquiry or a late payment reported on a very young file will probably deduct a much higher percentage of points than the same behavior on say a 30 or 40 year old credit file.   Whether you are an adult just entering the credit economy, or a young person just starting out, here are some pointers from My Money that can help you make good decisions so you don’t inadvertently hurt your credit score. 

credit cards
credit scores
personal finance
student loans

Planning A Job Interview? It Could Pay To Have Your Credit Report Handy.

By Susan Cataldo on 10/1/2012

Job seekers need to be aware that an increasing number of employers rely on credit and background checks as part of their evaluation process for new hires.  If you have a credit report, here are some tips that can help you prepare for the possibility that your credit will be an important part of your job search. 

But, what if you don't have a credit report?  Are you just out of luck?  There are a variety of consumer reporting agencies that house other types of personal data that is not credit related.  This data is available to employers, but if the employer needs to evaluate credit information specifically, there are very few options at their disposal.  eCredable is a consumer oriented credit reporting agency that puts consumers in charge, allowing them to create a credit report based on monthly bill payments that are not typically reported to the credit bureaus.  For job seekers without a credit bureau report, the eCredable AMP Credit Report™ can help give potential employers a more complete picture.  To learn more visit http://www.ecredable.com/


Credit Unions Stay The Course During Auto Loan Surge

By Susan Cataldo on 8/6/2012

The Washington Post recently discussed a new phenomenon occurring throughout the auto loan world—a boost in auto loans for all borrowers, even those with sub-prime credit ratings.  Credit unions across the country are feeling the auto buying love.  Many report seeing a spike in overall auto loan demand and are loosening their underwriting requirements on borrowers, regardless of creditworthiness.

bad credit
no credit score
no file credit
poor credit
thin file credit

Every Income Bracket Benefits From Having A Strong Financial Plan

By Susan Cataldo on 8/1/2012

It's a common misconception that financial planning is only for folks in upper income brackets. But... A new study shows that those who develop a financial plan and stick to it, regardless of their income bracket, are more comfortable financially, and more confident about their financial future.  The survey by The Consumer Federation of America and CFP Board is summarized in an article from Financial Planning magazine.

Don’t Find Yourself Out Of Luck When Applying For An Apartment Without A Credit Score.

By Susan Cataldo on 7/2/2012

Is it difficult to rent a home or apartment without a credit score? In the eyes of at least some landlords, you betcha!

I ran across an interesting article at FinancialSamuri.com that highlights just that. http://www.financialsamurai.com/2012/07/01/landlords-need-a-credit-report-score-for-apartment/ It outlines one landlord’s criteria for deciding which applicant to rent to when he has several potential tenants. Because he is understandably concerned about finding a tenant who will always pay the rent, he relies almost exclusively on credit scores. But what happens in this situation if you don’t have a credit score? Are you just out of luck??? You don’t have to be if you pay regular bills and have an Alternative Credit Report and Alternative Credit Rating.

alternative credit
no credit score
no file
thin file

Protect Your Children From Identity Theft

By Susan Cataldo on 5/25/2012

 With increased awareness surrounding the threat of identity theft, many adults are being much more careful about protecting their personal and financial information. But, there is a new segment of the population who don’t even have credit reports falling victim to identity theft at a shocking rate… young children. Children are the ideal target for identity thieves because a criminal can establish an identity under the child’s Social Security number and operate undetected for many years. By the time the parent, or the victim as a young adult, discovers the problem, there is often a long ugly history of fraudulent activity, bad credit, many thousands of dollars in debt, and often criminal behavior and arrests, even felonies. Unfortunately, repairing the situation can take many years, long legal battles, lots of money, and cost the victim dearly as they are unable to obtain credit, find a job, or possibly denied a drivers license. The crime takes a severe financial and emotional toll.

check credit
child identity theft
identity theft

American Parents and British Parents Share Some Bad Credit Habits

By Susan Cataldo on 5/20/2012

According to the UK publication, The Guardian, it is not just American parents who disadvantage their children while trying to help.  Things are tough right now and increasing numbers of parents everywhere are trying to help their adult children out financially. Although motivated by good intentions, by putting credit agreements, mobile phone contracts, call loans, credit cards and even mortgages in their own names, they are preventing their children from developing a credit record. 

establish credit
no credit

Don’t let a Student Loan Ruin Your Credit!

By Susan Cataldo on 5/14/2012
With the cost of college tuition increasing at over 4 times the rate of cost-of-living inflation, the questions surrounding how students will pay for their education are increasing as well. It is not unusual for young adults to graduate college burdened with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, occasionally even into six figures.  There is a lot of conversation surrounding student loans, and even a lot of creative solutions. 
college tuition
student debt
student loan repayment
student loans

No credit, little credit, damaged credit – Federal Law is here to help you!

By Susan Cataldo on 3/19/2012
If you have little or no credit there is a Federal Law designed designed to help your specific situation!